Tag Archives: encino house

Encino Home Renovation: Stucco

Before we began, the exterior of the home was a mix of siding and spray-on plaster:

Both of these finishes are high maintenance (you end up with cracks, you have to repaint, etc).  Thus, we chose to redo the exterior with “smooth-trowel” stucco, which is low maintenance and has very clean look.

Since I know you are dying to learn the ins and outs of installing stucco :), here’s a quick overview:

Applying stucco (also referred to as plaster) requires adding several layers of differing materials:

In this instance, we took down all of the siding and spray-on plaster.  We put up plywood (“wood sheathing”) where necessary.  Next, we added the building paper and metal lath.  The building paper helps to keep the wooden structure behind it dry, and the lath provides support for the coats.

Then, we applied the “scratch” and “brown” layers.  The scratch coat embeds the metal lath and provides a base for the brown coat.  The brown coat covers the scratch, and creates a plane surface for the finish coat.

Lastly, the finish coat was applied.  The color is already mixed into the stucco, and when it dries, you get the color of your choice.

The finished product!

Existing Floor Plan

Encino Home Renovation: Floor Plans

As we continue along in the renovation of this 1950’s ranch-style home in Encino, CA – we thought we’d post some floor plans to help you get a better understanding of the changes we are making (click each to enlarge).  Below are the existing, demo* and proposed floor plans in respective order:

*In the demo plan, the gray areas distinguish the walls that are to be demolished, and the walls that are to remain.

Encino Home Renovation: The Rooms Begin to Take Shape – Drywall!

Drywall is the fun part, where we get to visually begin to see the home take on its new design!

We re-used some of the existing drywall, but mostly added new.

The installers created chalk lines (as specified by us), in order to line up all of the lighting fixtures, smoke detectors, and AC units.

Around the windows, they put L-Metal.  This ensures that we get a super clean, 90° corner at each edge.  After installing the L-Metal, they will finish it with plaster to fill the gaps, and then sand the plaster until it is flat.

After the drywall is put up, the installers came in with plaster to cover up any screws, edges, dings and other imperfections.  Then, they sanded the plaster down until the walls were completely flat (like with the L-Metal around the windows).

In the Living Room, we designed a built-in shelving & TV area.  This will give them much more floor space.

We also included a sweet office into the new floorplan.  It has a great glass wall to let natural light in:

You can start to see the “new” fireplace!  It used to be in a wall so you were not able to walk around it.  We removed that wall (along with many others) to open up the floorplan.

Encino Home Renovation: Insulation, Windows & Doors!

The original insulation either simply disintegrated, or was eaten by rats.  Who knows?  So in comes the new insulation to keep our friends nice and cozy/cool in their new home!

*We can guarantee that no panthers (pink or any variation of the color) were harmed during installation*

We wanted to bring more natural light into the home, and we also wanted the windows to align to one another as much as possible.  Additionally, the existing ones were wooden and old.  For these reasons, we replaced all of the windows.

In the kitchen, we added a skylight.  It brings a lot of beautiful light into the room…

We also replaced all of the doors.  We used sliding doors for the Master Bedroom:

For the patio doors, we used the Panoramic Door System.  Of course, you are asking, “DBA, what IS the Panoramic Door System, and why would you use it?!”

WELL, so glad you asked!  We wanted the family to be able to have the largest view into their backyard as possible.  These doors slide, fold and stack to the side (rather than sliding in front of one another).  The view blockage is quite minimal.

To help you wrap your head around this crazy concept – please, at your leisure, sit back and watch the doors in action:

Here are the doors not yet installed….


On each door panel, there are sliding hinges that go into the header, like these:


Installing the header where the hinges go….



This is the installed header/rail.  The pieces of wood sticking out from behind the frame are used as “shims” – extra material to fill space and square out the opening.


Installed door panel!

Encino Home Renovation: Framing

Some of the framing was done alongside of the demo work….but the majority of it was done after the demo and foundations.

You can start to see some of the new room layouts:

All of the plumbing and wiring is new.  Every window was reframed, either because we enlarged its dimensions or we changed its location.

The existing fireplace had an odd shape to it (think “Mesopotamian Ziggurat“), so we framed around it (using recycled wood) to square it out.

Next up…insulation, doors & windows!  Yipee!